SAN FRANCISCO (KPIX 5) — Lyft is drumming up investor money for a $25 billion IPO as drivers struggling to get by protest falling wages in San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.
Al Aloudi has been driving with Lyft since it launched in 2012. He works 6 days a week and up to 12 hours a day, but he says he makes 60 percent of what he used to.
“If you were working 10 to 12 hours, you make $250 to $300. Now you barely make $160,” said Aloudi.
Aloudi says after paying for car maintenance and insurance, he doesn’t have much left.
“Sometimes I wake up at midnight, I swear, because I cannot make my bills,” he added. “It makes you frustrated, it’s a lot of pressure, especially people like me, I have four kids.”
Aloudi was among dozens of rideshare drivers who showed up at the Omni Hotel in San Francisco hoping to make their feelings known to potential investors and executives at Lyft’s IPO meeting.
Lyft held the meeting at the Olympic Club instead. Still, drivers held signs and chanted.
On Thursday, Lyft is set to price its initial public offering. It plans to raise $2.1 billion in what will be the biggest U.S. listing so far this year. Monday’s protest coincided with a drivers’ strike in Los Angeles.
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Uber driver Derrick Baker was at the San Francisco protest.
“You can make millionaires money, make them richer, or billionaires make them richer, that’s fine,” Baker said. “Pay us, we want to make some money, too.”
In a statement to KPIX 5, the company said: “Lyft has a strong track record of helping drivers increase their earnings, and has led the industry in initiatives like in-app tipping, same-day payments, access to affordable rental vehicles, and more. The vast majority of drivers use Lyft as a temporary source of extra money. In fact, 91% drive fewer than 20 hours a week and many use Lyft as a supplemental option in addition to full-time work. We are always open to conversations around how we can make Lyft better for drivers, but what we hear from the majority is that this is a flexible option that works for them.”